Girardi | Keese

California's medical malpractice law could change

Our California readers have likely been staying current with the political battle regarding the state's medical malpractice law. While there are people on both sides of the fight, there is a good chance that it could be coming to a voting booth in the near future.

For many years, attorneys and consumers groups have fought against limits on damages related to medical malpractice cases, feeling that restrictions can deny victims the compensation they deserve.

On the other side of things, there are insurance companies and doctors who feel differently. They are defending the current law, noting that it is essential in maintaining the availability of care while also keeping costs in check.

Attorneys and consumer groups have proposed a ballot initiative that would increase the limits on medical malpractice awards for pain and suffering. This measure would appear on the upcoming fall ballot, giving the people a chance to make this big decision.

With this looming, both sides are beginning to discuss their stance while also collecting funds that could help them with the fight. For example, doctors and insurance companies already have $33 million to use in the fight with attorneys and consumer groups.

This is a story that is well worth paying attention to over the next few months, especially if it is going to make its way to a vote this fall. The law may be changing soon, but for the time being things will remain the same. This means that anybody who has a medical malpractice claim can consult with an attorney regarding their rights and options.

Source:  Los Angeles Times, "Voters may decide medical malpractice cap" Melanie Mason, Feb. 18, 2014

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